Information Technology In Public Administration

3552 Words15 Pages
Information technology, that assortment of technology that enables the conversion of data into information, has had an enormous impact on the field of public administration and its theoretical foundation. This article explores five of them. It begins with a discussion of one of the primary impacts of information technology on public administration theory: the development of systems theory and its descendants including the study of complex systems, chaos, and complexity theory. The importance of information technology in decision-making is explored next. Does information technology free us from the limits of bounded rationality or are we simply overwhelmed by the volume of information available via new sources, such as the Internet and the World…show more content…
Simon demonstrated the impossibility of the rational comprehensive model by drawing attention to the human limitations of the decision-maker and the opportunity costs involved in seeking complete information. Thus, bounded rationality became a standard framework through which to view decision making and was widely touted as clear proof for why rationality could not be expected in management decision-making. Simon continued his efforts to improve organizational efficiency and management decision-making through the use of information technology. He became an enthusiastic advocate of the socially beneficial possibilities associated with information technology use. Growing more and more enamoured with the power of information technology to solve pressing social problems, Simon argued that information technology provided new public policy alternatives and was the foundation on which to build a new science of management…show more content…
This article has briefly looked at five aspects of that sway: the development of systems theory and its descendants; information technology's role in administrative decision-making; the use of information technology as a research tool; information technology as a change agent that demands rethinking of otherwise settled ideas; and how the practice of using information technology can itself be an experiment from which theory may be developed. The continued dissemination of information technology might more correctly be called an explosion as use continues to increase on an exponential scale. The development of the World Wide Web and the Internet, the almost daily improvement in information technology capability, and the Clinton Administration's commitment to building and using the Information Superhighway in the effort to develop a more efficient and effective government are all indicators that public administrators, both academics and practitioners, should be paying close attention to information
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